To Love Without Consequence
By E.M. Anam
Often, I find myself writing about the special needs community, but tonight I write for a completely different reason: my life and myself. Let me start off by saying that everywhere I look, there is a fight going on, across the country, and across the world. The fight? If I am allowed to love who I love. For some reason, my falling in love and marrying a woman is up for debate with governments, countries, communities and other people. My right to fall in love and marry that very person should to be something to debate. Why is my love up for debate? Because the bible told them so? Let me tell you a little about what the bible also says. 1) Donai??i??t mix fabric in clothes, 2) Donai??i??t trim your beard, 3) Donai??i??t get tattoos, 4) You cannot, under any circumstance, avoid standing while in the presence of the elderly. The list goes on and on. My favorite argument though: We, as a female couple, should not raise children because only a father and mother are the acceptable parental units. This argument should make any sane person irate. Where do single parents or widowed parents fit in? The argument is incomplete at best.
Letai??i??s take a moment to examine this scenario: my stepchildren are better off with a man that abused them for years, rather than living with and being raised by two strong, loving parents. They are in a home where they feel safe and know that they are continuously loved, far beyond a love they thought possible. Yes, that seems pretty awful to me.
But, I digress. There is a war on love occurring and so many hours are wasted fighting against love. I watch states such as Oklahoma and Tennessee come up with laws to try and stop me from having the most basic human right, to love and be loved in return. I see young people, much like myself, kill themselves, run away, or wish they could simply disappear. All for what? Because they love someone of the same sex and are shunned from their loved ones. It saddens me to no end knowing that there are situations like this occurring every single day. Speaking back to laws, as the Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage, many people are still not able to come out and be openly proud of who they are. I wish that I could hold these young people and tell them that things will get better, that life will one day be okay for them. And one day it will be.
My wife and I hid our relationship and marriage for the better part of four years. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to some who have had to hide for the better part of, say, seventy years. Those four years were some of the most challenging of my life. To love so deeply and honestly all while having to watch ourselves every second, to make sure we gave off no feelings in public, does not make for the ideal life. To this day, in some ways we are not open as we wait for older generations of family to find out or pass away. My wife comes from the Mormon faith and as many may know, this faith still continues to persecute those who love the way we do. And although my wife chose me over her faith and family, each new directive they send out causes a new round of anxiety and depression. To have a faith that you knew your entire life call you out for finally finding love, being happy, and providing a stable home for the children is a feeling I wouldnai??i??t wish on my worst enemy. The church would have preferred her to stay with an abusive man who may have one day killed her.
And every new directive strikes fear in her heart that her family will finally turn away. They accepted us as well as they could have and are wonderful, but still members of the church. So what happens when the church comes to them one day and asks them to make a choice? I ask, why does there even have to be a choice. In what faith or lifetime should a family ever have to choose a life away from their family? Away from a child or a parent or anyone in that family? How is this ever okay?
I fell in love and married a woman. We are raising a beautiful family together. A family that is taught about love and trust and faith and what it means to truly be a family. Love should never be cause for a fight. My life should not be up for debate.